Member of Parliament for Karonga North, Mungasulwa Mwambande who is also a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has called upon government to upgrade roads in his area to enhance movements of farm produce to markets and ambulances to the district hospital.
The former deputy minister made the call on Saturday at Karonga Freedom Park when the party’s politburo conducted a campaign rally ahead of the court sanctioned June 23 fresh presidential elections.
He mentioned Ighembe-Kitwika, Songwe-Ngana, Ngerenge court-Chikutu and Pusi-Atupele roads in the district.
Mwambande said: “These roads if upgraded will enable farmers transport their farm produce such as rice to markets thereby developing people’s socio-economic growth. Ambulances will be able to reach these hard to reach areas as well.”
Mwambande also took the advantage of the presence of the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Kenneth Ndovie at the meeting to plead for rice farmers’ empowerment through value addition in order for them to maximize profits.
In response, Regional Governor for the North Christopher Mzomera Ngwira assured the Parliamentarian that DPP led government will upgrade the roads in question to ease communication and spur the socio-economic development of the area.
He asked people in the area to vote for President Arthur Peter Mutharika on June 23.
In an interview, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Kenneth Ndovie said indeed rice farmers need to be empowered through formation of cooperatives for them to have bargaining power for their produce.
Said Ndovie: “Government through my ministry encourages farmers to form cooperatives for them to have bargaining price voice. And right now, I am glad that cooperatives have been formed and they have received processing and packaging machines, waiting for Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to provide them with a transformer. Our role as a ministry will therefore, be to source international markets for their processed and packaged rice.”